Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting Scammed in Shanghai's Nanjing Lu (南京路)

Shanghai's Nanjing Road is the main shopping street of Shanghai. I mean it's one freaking long street full of shops on both sides, a wonderful place to shop.

It is also a place where it kinda sucks to be a tourist.

Why? Because it's full of touts who're looking to scam you the minute they know you're a tourist and heck it doesn't matter if you look Chinese like I do, they somehow know how to spot you even if you don't open your mouth to speak Mandarin in your Malaysian accent.

Maybe it's just the way we dress.

I was walking with Ming down that road just a few days ago and so many touts came up to us trying to sell us stuff or invite us to restaurants to eat.

I know what you're thinking
"What's wrong with being invited to a restaurant to eat? You're looking for food anyway right?"
Well ... WRONG.

Let me tell you one of a few stories that happened to some friends of mine who visited Shanghai not too long ago. To protect his identity, I'm going to call this friend Frank.

Frank gets stopped by touts a million times while walking down this street (probably because he's Caucasian and you don't look anymore touristy than that) but he knew about their scamming ways so he ignored them. Then suddenly a really pretty Chinese girl came up to him and randomly starting speaking to him in English.

Surprised that a girl there starting speaking fluent English to him, he paid attention for once. I mean heck, wherever in the world you are, if a pretty girl who looked something like this
came up to talk to you, you don't ignore her... instead you say
"Oh hai!!!"

So after a while she suggested that they got get lunch so Frank who was hungry himself said okay. She brought him to this Chinese restaurant on the same road. Frank upon sitting down took a look at the prices on the menu for fear that he might be getting conned into an expensive lunch. The prices were pretty normal.

They sat there to eat but throughout the lunch the Chinese girl started ordering a few glasses of wine for herself. One glass after another. By the time the bill came, it came up to be the equivalent of RM3,000.
Frank was shocked. He was like "WTF?!?"

And most of the bill apparently came from the 'expensive' wine she was having. Frank looked into his wallet and found only RM1,500 worth of Chinese currency so he said he can't afford it. The waiters and the restaurant manager gathered round his table and demanded that he use his credit card but Frank said that his card is not working outside his country.

After making some more noise, Frank finally told them that the only currency he had left was another USD 200 back in the hotel (actually a lie, Frank had much more but knowing he was being scammed he acted broke).

The restaurant owner sent two of his people to follow Frank back to his 5-star hotel just to get the USD200. So there you have it everyone. After hearing all these horror stories, Ming and I were even afraid to go eat anywhere around that area without our local friends showing us around. One morning we woke up for lunch and Ming suggested to have lunch at the Italian restaurant in our hotel.

I said
"WHAT? What for so expensive?"

And his reply
"Well if you go out and eat and get scammed, it's going to cost you a lot more for crap food so what would you rather do?

We had Italian food for lunch that day.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Okay if anyone is wondering what the hell happened to me for the past few days let me tell you.

I arrived on Monday night, really happy and all. Went for dinner with some of my friends and clients who happen to be there and we went take some pictures around Shanghai.
Then I spent the whole of Tuesday working and on Tuesday night one of my friends who works in Shanghai brought us for oily Sichuan food.

I went to bed thinking that I was going to be fine on Wednesday morning for work again but in the middle of Tuesday night I woke up with a painful stomach ache. I didn't know what was causing it but my body told me that I had to be near a toilet so I rushed into the toilet.

That night I woke up almost every hour to rush to the toilet.

By the end of the night it had finally dawned on me that I was suffering from food poisoning probably from the oily Sichuan dinner.

When Wednesday morning came I was struggling to stay alive. By the time I was up it was near 10.30AM and I knew I had to go to a pharmacy. So I made my way to find a pharmacy and while I was expecting to see a well-stocked pharmacy like this.
Only that the pharmacy I saw was more like some shop with well.. not as much medicine and apparently according to my friends working there, that's how the pharmacies here are like.

So okay I asked for some of the Western medicine that I knew off but they had no clue what it was so I told them that I was suffering from food poisoning and I needed something.

They prescribed these pills for me and I started taking it as they suggested. 3 of these pills 3 times a day.
And guess what, it doesn't seem to work.

It's Friday now and I'll be leaving in a few hours for the airport to head back home and I'm still feeling like shit so that kinda messed up my trip a little.

The good news is that my cruel friends made sure I went out to see Shanghai no matter how sick I was so I did manage to go some places and take some pictures. Will blog about that in time to come but right now.. I just need to recover and hope I get well before I get on to the plane.Otherwise.... it will be a very unpleasant flight home.

See you guys soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Best Thing a Hotel Could Have

Okay so I'm in Shanghai today. After a 5 hour flight, I finally got in this afternoon and found my way into the city using the Maglev, apparently the fastest train in the world that travels all the way up to 422km/h.That's insane!

And to be honest I really wonder whether it's really necessary or not. The whole train ride took like 5 minutes to get us into the city but if it were a normal train then heck, maybe it would just have taken double the time.. like 10 minutes instead of 5. Is that such a bad thing?

But I guess there's the bragging rights of having the fastest train in the world.

A quick taxi ride later Ming and I finally got to our hotel, the Westin Shanghai and checked in.

This is Ming checking in.

And while waiting for him to get us checked in I walked around the lobby of the hotel and took these pictures.

Pretty nice huh.

Such a busy busy hotel full of business people.
Very quickly after we got our key cards, we made our way up to our room. The thing I love about traveling is the hotel rooms. I mean I can save on everything else on a trip, eat cheaper food, fly budget airlines but the one thing I really do appreciate is a good hotel.

There's nothing better than a great place to go back to sleep after a long day of work.

The Westin has one of the softest coziest beds.

and a huge bathroom

with a bathtub next to a window and a city view.

Too bad I probably won't get to use it since I'm going to be out most of the time.

This is what I'll probably be using most if not all the time.

A typical shower.

This is also the first time I've actually seen a hotel room have a special cubicle for its toilet so that when anyone ever has to take a shit, the entire toilet doesn't stink up and you can still go in and brush your teeth or something without smelling all the love.

Anyway apart from the usual cool stationery drawers that the hotel room provided, there is something that I really fell in love with and was the one thing that made me confirm that I will from now on stay in the Westin every time I come to Shanghai.

The bed.... had more than just pillows.


I feel almost just as home here now.

Okay everyone, gotta go to bed now. Got a long day of work tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Cousin Lost Her Dog!

Her name is Emily, 1 year old female Siberian Husky. Lost around TTDI. erm she has blue eyes and her marking on her right is longer than the marking on the left!
If you find it, e-mail Michelle at

Here I Come Shanghai

Early tomorrow morning I'm hopping on a flight to Shanghai. I'm going to be in Shanghai this week for a conference and for some work stuff there.

Funny thing is my friend Hasan is there in Shanghai right now too and will be there for just about as long as I will be there for this week. He's on holiday though.

He sent me a text this morning
"Dude.. no one here speaks Engrish!"

Then like a few hours later he sent me another text
"Dude I just met this random chinese chick and I'm having lunch with her now. She speaks damn good english , but if I get kidnapped you know why".

I replied him a little late, like 1 hour later because I was a little busy saying something like

Then he sent me a very short reply
"Dude I just got conned".

I guess there goes another story of being cheated in China, this one involving a friendly random english speaking Chinese girl.

So my little bag is packed.
My passport all set.

And enough Chinese currency to last me for a while.

Only thing I'm missing is my heart.

Feels so heavy leaving home again.... But I guess when you gotta go work, you gotta go work.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Visit From My Old London Flatmate

During my second year of uni in London, I shared a flat with two very wonderful ladies. One, a Malaysian girl named Gene who was studying law at Queen Mary University and another, a british born Chinese girl named Julia who was in the same course as I was at UCL: Economics.

Julia is a pretty interesting person. Her family is from Hong Kong but she was born and raised in the UK. So she speaks English with the strongest English accent possible but when she speaks Cantonese, she sounds as if she grew up in Hong Kong.

Well this week, she made a short trip to KL just to pay me a visit.The last time I saw her was two years ago at graduation and I didn't think I'd see her again so soon. We spent a lot of time catching up on what we've both been up to (she's now in reinsurance) and also on what our other uni friends have been up to.

You know things like... is bla bla still together with bla bla... or what is Sheila from UCL doing now... etc etc. Most of my old uni friends seem to be doing quite well career wise, although some of them who were working in the financial sector in London got laid off recently due to the economic crisis.

While she was down I took some time off to take her shopping at Pasar Malams, Sungai Wang, Sunway Pyramid and also to try some local food. We even made a trip all the way to Klang to have the famous Klang Bak Kut Teh.

I was expecting a response like

But it turned out that she actually liked it!

Ended up taking pictures of it too... and she's not even a blogger.

Here's something interesting.

While I was in London, I spent a lot of my time with my friends from the UK, Hong Kong or other countries. All of them always felt that my Malaysian accent sounded weird to them and Julia used to poke a little harmless fun at me here and there.

But these few days while she was here she realized that everyone here spoke English like me... and I never thought I'd get to say this in my lifetime but.. . Julia... now you're the one that speaks funny :)

We took some time off our busying around KL to pay a visit to our 3rd flatmate, a nice girl named Gene who has now become a lawyer at one of the top law firms in the country pulling in big bucks.
The three of us caught a picture, a picture that we all agreed will be the last in a long time to come until one of us gets married.

I sent Julia off yesterday after her short trip... we said our goodbyes, hugged and at the end of it all, I think she's glad she came over.

Bye Julia!

You will be missed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nuffnang Australia Takes Off

In the past few months while I have been working on putting together Nuffnang Philippines, Ming has been keeping himself really busy too with another installment of our Nuffnang expansion plans.

We've always dreamed of making Nuffnang a regional blog advertising network and regional to us doesn't mean we start announcing that we accept bloggers from all over the world and call ourselves an international player, anyone can do that. It means we actually set up physical offices in the respective offices with staff there to better service the market in that country.

So since a few months ago Ming has been working together with two very experienced digital marketing Australians (Martyn and David) to set up the team and operations in Nuffnang Australia. After months of preparation, setting up a team and looking for people to add to our office in Melbourne, at 12.00AM today we finally launched Nuffnang Australia.

Among some of the first few bloggers to join us in Nuffnang Australia is someone pretty familiar to some of us here closer to home... Karen Cheng.

Here are some pictures of the Nuffnang office in Australia that I managed to steal off Ming's blog.

It's housed in this nice 3 storey building along with the offices of Frank Media.

and here are some pictures of how it looks on the inside.

Dammit I wanna go work there some day too.

There's even a nice chillout area or their version of the "Nuffie's Corner".

I'm really excited by all this.

Less than 2 years since Nuffnang started off in a small Penang office, today we have grown to have offices in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and now Melbourne. It's exciting being at the front seat of a company that is growing so fast.

Now that Nuffnang Philippines seems to be picking up and growing really quick too, I can't wait to face all the challenges we'll have in our operations in a 4th country: Australia.

Thank you for having us Australia!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shagging On A Train Track

I woke up this morning looking for some news to read online.

I went to the usual mainstream sites and then to Digg where I sometimes find some interesting stuff there. This morning I saw one of the Top 10 entries had the title "The Top 10 Worst Places To Get Caught Having Sex".
Naturally the curious me clicked on it to take a look and they started listing the places, in a courtroom, on top of a police car etc etc, if you're curious click on the link and go read it.

Anyway I quickly scrolled down to see what the number 1 worst place to have sex was and funny enough it was... on a set of train tracks.Now the impulse thought that crosses your mind when you see something like that is

But well the article came with a true story. Apparently in South Africa, a couple was getting it on on the train tracks when a train started coming their way.

The train conductor happened to see them on the tracks a distance away and knowing that the train won't be able to stop in time, he shouted at them to get out of the way.

And what did the couple do in hearing the conductor shout at them and the train roaring towards them?Naturally if it were you... you would get the fuck out of there right. You won't even bother getting dressed... leave your mobile phone and underwear behind for all you care!

Well this couple decided to finish up with their shagging instead and probably hump faster or something. They ended up being run over by the train.

Now so that there's no confusion if anyone ever thinks of shagging on our local KTM tracks, if the train comes and you hear a conductor shouting at you... you don't finish up.. YOU GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE!!!!!

But for the fun of it, lets do a poll. Answer the poll on my sidebar to see first if you would do it on a train track and if you would get the puck out of there or try to finish up if you saw a train coming in. Then compare your results with everyone else who reads this blog.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pondering About The Future

Sometimes I can't help but ponder about my future.

I ponder about the struggles I am going to face and the joys that I will have.

I ponder about where my career will take me. How much farther Nuffnang will grow and where it will be in 5 years.
I ponder about the money I will make and the money I will lose.

I ponder how the ups and downs of business will be for me, and how experiencing success or failure will change me.

I ponder about which friends of mine will leave during the hard times, and which will stay.

I ponder how my parents will age and how much time I have left with them.

I ponder how I will take care of them and love them as they grow old.

I ponder how my brothers and sister will grow up and who they will end up marrying.

I ponder who will be walking down the aisle to me one day and what her smile will be like.

I ponder how much I will love her and how much she will love me too.

I ponder how beautiful it would be to wake up next to her every day for the rest of my life.

I ponder how sad I will be when I see her cry, and how happy I would be when I see her laugh.

I ponder about the many places in the world that I would love to take her to.I ponder about being with her "For Richer or Poorer" and "In Sickness and In Health"

I ponder about what I would do if I ever lost her.

I ponder about the family we would have together and how our kids will be.

I ponder if I will be able to provide my family with the best of everything but yet something tells me that at the end of the day, all they will ask from me is my love.

I ponder if my children will love me as much as I will love them.

I ponder about the places that I will travel to for work and the time I will spend away from home.
I ponder if I will ever make a mark in my life.

I ponder if I will make a positive impact on another person's life.

I ponder about the regrets that I will have in my life and the mistakes I will make.

I ponder about the lessons I will learn.

I ponder about how I will miss the memories I had gained in the past...

But I look forward to the ones I will make in the future.

I can't wait to live life!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My New Haircut

I was at Sunway Pyramid yesterday for a hair cut. Gosh it was the longest time I had ever spent in a hair saloon in the 24 years of my life. Total time spent: just over 2 hours.

I went there just with the intention to get a hair cut and have my hair dyed. But as the hair stylist took a look at my hair, she noticed that I could use some various hair treatments for my sensitive scalp. Treatment that would solve some problems I was having.So while I was reading my book she kept recommending this and that and eventually before I knew it, at the end of the 2 hours I had spent a bomb on my hair.

I jumped when I saw the bill but then I thought to myself that after all the 20 odd years of my life that I have had hair, I never spent much on it. Most of my life had me spend max RM5-RM10 on a hair cut so I thought.. okay fine why not. Besides whatever problems I had with my scalp was miraculously cured right after the treatment.

Now let me say this... there is something I absolutely love about cutting your hair in a hair saloon. I LOVE the part when they wash your hair. GOSH... all the scrubbing and head massaging always makes me feel like I'm floating away to a far far away dream land.

At the end of my 2 hour treatment, wash and hair cut... this is how I ended up looking like.

Do I look even more like a little teenage boy?

While I was getting my hair cut, the stylist just had to ask me
"So are you still studying or working already?"

I told her that I've been working for about 2 years now though on second thoughts, maybe I should've told her I was still a student. Maybe she would've given me a student discount.


Have a Happy Sunday ahead everyone!